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We’ve been on our travels again; back to Transylvania. Patrick Leigh-Fermor and Miklos Banffy seemed to shadow us on the way – but other writers too.

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“Up into the middle of it, straight ahead, a vertiginous triangle of steep roofs, spikes, tree-tops and battlemented cliffs rose like a citadel in an illuminated psalter”

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“Back to Sighisoara! Back to Segesvar! Above all, back to Schassburg”

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“The highest of three town walls looped downhill with battlements spaced out between jutting towers…”

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“The level sward outside the west door of the church dropped in green waves of mingled forest and churchyard where the names of weavers, brewers, vintners, carpenters, merchants and pastors were incised on generations of headstones in obsolete German spelling. Under a scurry of clouds and suspended above hills and fields and a twisting riverbed, maintenance and decay were at grips in one of the most captivating graveyards in the world”.

But from our last visit, I remembered this particular family grave. Reading between the lines of the relationships, lives and deaths recorded on this black obelisk, it’s practically a Joseph Roth novella in précis.

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